Accessibility links

Breaking News

Russian Region Starts Recovery From Meteor Fall

The shock wave from the meteor blew out windows in more than 4,000 buildings, mostly in the city of Chelyabinsk.
The shock wave from the meteor blew out windows in more than 4,000 buildings, mostly in the city of Chelyabinsk.
Reports from Russia say a major rescue and clean-up operation is under way in the Ural Mountains following a meteor strike.

The office of the Chelyabinsk region's governor says more than 24,000 people, including volunteers, have mobilized to make relief efforts.

Most of the people working to clear up the damage are locals, but some came from neighboring regions.

For many, the immediate task was to cover shattered residential windows amid sub-zero temperatures.

The shock wave from the meteor that exploded on February 15 over the Chelyabinsk region, about 1,500 kilometers east of Moscow, blew out windows in some 4,000 buildings, mostly in the regional capital city of the same name.

About 1,200 people were injured, most with cuts from broken glass.

Some 50 of them remain hospitalized, but their injuries are reportedly not life-threatening.

INTERVIEW: Meteor Expert Says Russian Strike Was 'Extraordinary'

Regional authorities have said the meteor explosion caused $13 million in damages, and that compensation will be paid to all the affected people.

However, Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov said that figure will likely rise.

Puchkov, who toured Chelyabinsk city on February 16, said a special team was "now assessing the seismic stability of buildings. We will be especially careful about switching the gas back on."

The 10-ton meteor was thought to be made of iron and travelling at some 30 kilometers per second.

It entered the Earth's atmosphere and broke apart some 40 kilometers above ground, releasing the equivalent of an atomic weapon's detonation.

There was no confirmation yet that any fragments had been found.

One piece of meteorite reportedly landed in Cherbakul Lake near Chelyabinsk, puncturing a hole several meters wide in the ice covering the lake.

But officials were quoted as saying divers who explored the bottom of the lake hadn't found anything.

With reporting by AP, ITAR-TASS, and BBC
  • 16x9 Image


    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.